The goal was his second overtime winner of the season after the Delaware signee found the back of the net to beat Garnet Valley. It also marked his 150th career goal.
“It was a battle and it ended exactly the way we wanted it to,” Manganiello told Chris Goldberg of Philly Lacrosse. “We were looking at this game from the beginning of the season and to say we’re 11-0 for the first time in school history is incredible.”
Fellow 2014 Dylan Protesto continued his phenomenal season, too, by scoring once and going 13-for-19 at the faceoff X. 2014s Rob Logan (one goal) and Liam O'Donnell (one assist) also factored in on the scoring.
NXT 2016Sam Stroud tossed up goose eggs in Malvern Prep's 13-0 whitewashing of Hill School. The Friars' sophomore recorded his first career shutout with an impressive seven-save effort. NXT 2015 Zach White dished out an assist.
From the time he was a little boy - or as little as the 6-6, 225-pound St. Joseph's Prep sophomore can really be - Gayhardt dreamt of donning the Blue & Gold of the Irish. His father, Don, is a Notre Dame alum and the Gayhardt family still makes routine trips to see Touchdown Jesus with hopes of seeing the Irish wake up the echoes. Posters of the Irish have adorned Peter's room since he was a child and he's never been afraid of rocking a Notre Dame jersey.
But he'd always seen things from a fan's perspective, never as a potential Irish recruit, until he visited the school in February...and that's about as long as it took for Gayhardt to realize his future was in South Bend.
"From the moment I walked on campus, I knew it was the spot for me," Gayhardt said. "It's awesome. It's in its own place surrounded by nothing: just Notre Dame. The atmosphere is incredible, especially with the big football team, and the athletic tradition was a major reason why I wanted to go there."
So it didn't take long after coach Kevin Corrigan extended him an offer for Gayhardt to commit to the Irish's class of 2020, becoming the sixth NXT 2016 to commit to a Division I school. Gayhardt accepted the offer in early March, but couldn't go public until now.
It didn't hurt that Notre Dame boasts one of the strongest business schools in the country, either. The Mendoza College of Business perenially ranks among the best business schools in the country and with Gayhardt wanting to major in business, it seemed like a perfect fit.
"That's another major reason," Gayhardt affirmed. "The Mendoza business school is really good and it was definitely a factor. Academics were huge for me."
It's pretty easy to believe him, too, when the other schools that he seriously considered were Princeton and Penn, where his brother, Kevin, is a freshman. His older brother earned All-American honors at Episcopal Academy as a close defenseman, but Peter scored 42 goals there as a freshman last year before switching schools. It could have been a tough move, but he's adapted well to it.
"School itself is awesome," Gayhardt said, "and the kids have all been great to me. We're hoping to start really clicking as a team soon, especially by the time we play (defending PIAA champion and archrival) La Salle May 1."
And it's something he can now focus on without having to worry about his recruiting, but Gayhardt knows that he also got a major assist from NXT 2016 coach and Director of Showcase LacrosseBrett Manney. "I told him at the beginning of freshman year that Notre Dame was my favorite and he said, 'all right, let's do it,'" Gayhardt said. "He was real good with it. He was always talking to coaches when I needed him to make a call and he probably worked just as hard at it as I did. I'm really grateful for what him and what he did."
It's a safe bet that Irish eyes are smiling because of it.
NXT 2017Cole Johnson netted the first two goals of his young career and fellow 2017 CJ McAnallyalso scored for the first time in his career as the Churchmen whacked Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 12-3, in an Inter-Ac game Friday.
2016 Michael Nelson also led the charge for Southern Lehigh. Nelson potted four goals to help the Spartans throttle Central Catholic, 12-4.
2015 Sam Garges was at the forefront of Owen J. Roberts' 13-6 win over Pope John Paul II. Garges paired two goals with two assists to fuel the Wildcats.
2014s Luke Gomez and Brooks Melvin were all over Wissahickon's 16-0 whitewashing of Norristown. Gomez guided the Trojans with a hat trick, while Melvin (two goals, one assist) and 2017 John Esposito (one goal, two assists) highlighted the rest of the offense.
2016 Jake Hvazda tallied twice and dished out three assists to help Spring-Ford drub Boyertown, 11-5. Fellow 2016 Kevin Todd had a hand in three goals, scoring twice and setting up another,
This is going to surprise everybody, but NXT 2014Will Manganiello scored a bunch of goals. The Penncrest All-American led a 15-7 mashing of Lower Merion with six goals and an assist, while fellow 2014s Rob Logan (two goals) and Billy Kinnard (one goal) joined in on the fun. 2016 Ryan Kinnard also netted a goal for the Lions, while 2014 Casey Brown stopped three shots.
St. Joseph's Prep had little trouble with Catholic League foe Archbishop Carroll, pasting the Patriots 16-2. The Hawks got a goal and an assist from 2016 Griffin Fleming and an assist from 2014 Scott Scheuerle. 2015 Joey Rodden scored once for Carroll.